Trash, recycle, and compost bins at the UCSB Library.

Thanks to UCSB Sustainability and Associated Students Recycling, compost bins are now in the UCSB Library to encourage students, staff, and faculty to participate in waste diversion on campus.

A study by UCSB Sustainability found that more than 80 percent of the waste collected at the UCSB Library can be diverted from the landfill, which is one of the reasons the Library was selected to receive the new bins. 

The bins are located on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th floors and most are near the elevators.

All organic waste (food scraps) and compostable serviceware (cups, plates, utensils) can be put in the compost bins. All serviceware sold in on-campus eateries, such as Summit Cafe and the Arbor, is compostable.

Composting is the act of turning organic waste, which includes food scraps and yard and landscaping trimmings, into a soil-like product that can be used to aid plant growth and development.

Properly composted organics (wasted food and yard waste) improve soil health and structure, improve water retention, support more native plants, and reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides. 

The UC system has a goal to reach a 90% diversion rate from the landfill, meaning that 90% of waste will be either recycled or composted. Currently, we are at a 63% diversion rate.

Recycling alone is not enough to divert waste from the landfill, which is why UCSB continues to improve its robust composting infrastructure. 

The compost collected at the Library and around campus is processed both on and off-site. The bulk of this waste is sent to a commercial composting facility in Santa Maria, Engel & Gray

Engel & Gray’s 90-day cycle (as opposed to the 45-day cycle some other facilities use) assures the complete break down of compostable plates, utensils, and other items.  Their large-scale facility also allows us to compost a wider variety of materials, including meat, dairy, and oils.

In addition to the compost bins, the UCSB Library also has bins to recycle light bulbs, batteries, toner/ink, electronics, and used markers and pens.